Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility


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Hampshire Astronomical Group welcome you!

Formed in 1960 in Portsmouth the ‘Hampshire Astronomical Group’ has grown into one of the finest and largest amateur astronomical observatories in the UK.

Located high on a hill on the South Coast of England in the village of Clanfield (between Petersfield and Portsmouth) you will find a superbly equipped Observatory with a very active and enthusiastic membership.

We have a full program of Public Open evenings throughout the year at the Observatory coupled with monthly interesting and educational talks held at the ‘Clanfield Memorial Hall – Clanfield’ where you are more than welcome to attend.

Feel free to browse this website, it is constantly up-dated, so do re visit often.

Clear Nights and Dark Skies,

Richard Judd - President
Hampshire Astronomical Group

What's on in the next month...

9th May
To be confirmed shortly.
A talk by Dr Christian Knigge
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Astronomical Events for April 2014


1 April - 20:00 BST - Crater Humboldt will be visible due to the Moon's libration.  This crater will also be visible on 2 April at the same time.

3 April - 21:30 BST - A waxing crescent Moon can be found close to the Hyades.

6 April - The crescent Moon can be found 6° south of Jupiter.

14 April - There will be a Full Moon tonight and can be found between Mars and Spica.

15 April - Total eclipse of the Moon.  Observers in the UK may see the penumbra phase but the Moon will have set before the umbra phase.

16 April - 22:30 BST - A 96% lit Moon can be found near Saturn.  By the morning of the 17 April only 2.5° will be separating them; look for them low in the southwest.

26 April - 05:00 BST - A waning crescent Moon can be found close to Venus.


8 April - Mars is at opposition and can be found in the constellation of Virgo.  Syrtis Major will come into view at about midnight.

13 April - Minor planet Vesta is at opposition and can be found 2.5° west-north-west of 93-tau Virginis.

14 April - Mars will be 92.4 million km from Earth.

15 April - Dwarf planet Ceres is at opposition and can be found in Virgo.  It will be about 2° north-east of Vesta.

23 April - Midnight - Syrtis Major can be seen centrally located on Mars' disc.

30 April - just after sunset - Mercury can be seen very low down in the west-northwest.

Meteor Showers

19 April - Start of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower which peaks on the 6 May.

22 April - Peak of the Lyrid meteor shower with a ZHR of 10 meteors an hour.


Comet 2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) is crossing northern Boötes becoming circumpolar.  By the end of April it will be moving into Ursa Major.


2 April - Ideal time to look at the objects within The Plough as it will be directly overhead.

17 April - The nearly full Moon occults two stars in Libra, nu and 22 Librae.  The occultation starts this morning.

21 April - 23:30 BST - Looking south and using a small telescope, it will be possible to see many galaxies in Realm of Galaxies which located in the asterism called Bowl of Virgo.

27 April - Midnight - M51 (the Whirlpool Galaxy) is directly overhead.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Mars Image Credit: NASA

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium Lecture Series

14th May - The Active Sun

Talk by Dr Helen Mason (Cambridge University)

Adult evening lectures on the second Wednesday's of the Month at 4.30pm and 6.30pm, each follow by a short Planetarium Show about the months sky.

The Sun should be at the peak of its activity cycle, but actually it has been rather feeble. Several solar space observatories have been watching the Sun over the past few years: SoHO, Stereo, Hinode, SDO and most recently IRIS. We now have high spatial and spectral resolution images of the Sun, with a high cadence. This talk will review what we have learnt about the active Sun, in particular what we know (and don't yet know!) about solar active regions and flares.

Dr Helen Mason is a solar physicist and has worked on many space projects. In 2010, she was named as one of the 'Women of Outstanding Achievement' in recognition of her inspirational work in communication within Science, Engineering and Technology (SET).

Helen has participated in many outreach projects and given science presentations to audiences at many venues, including at summer music festivals, with the Sunworshippers team at Glastonbury. She is internationally recognised as a researcher in atomic astrophysics and leads the Sun|Trek project (www.suntrek.org) which explores the Sun and its effects on the Earth. She has worked with the media (BBC TV and radio) most recently on 'The Seven Ages of Starlight'

These events often sell out so pre-book or call to check on (01962) 863791

For more details and tickets please visit the Intech web site

Astronomy for Beginners Course

Astronomy is the oldest science and throughout the ages mankind has had a fascination for the night sky. This twenty-week course for adults over two terms, on Monday evenings from 7.15pm to 9.00pm at Clanfield Observatory, starting on Monday, 15th September 2014, is intended to introduce a basic understanding of astronomy with an emphasis on activities carried out by amateurs.

The course will include observations through some of the telescopes we have, when weather conditions permit.

As there is currently a surge of interest in astronomy, the course quickly fills up, so early enrolment is strongly recommended. 

For more details check out our Courses for All page: 

Or to book your place on the course please contact Robin Gorman by email: robin.gorman@hantsastro.org.uk

Southdowns Planetarium

The South Downs Planetarium is a registered educational charity, which is run by a small team of experienced and dedicated volunteers.
The Planetarium operates throughout the year, but is not open every day.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the Planetarium at the show times listed on this website.

Public Shows and Dates

Wednesday 16th April - 3.30pm - The Easter Full Moon

Friday 18th April - 7.30pm - The Night Sky This Easter

Monday 21st April - 1.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Monday 21st April - 3.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Friday 25th April - 7.30pm - Hubble's Glorious Universe

Sunday 27th April - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights

As seats sell out fast, it is essential to book your seat.

Admission Prices: £6.00 for adults, or £4.00 for children 6 to 16yrs. Cash or Cheque Only

The South Downs Planetarium Trust is a Registered Educational Charity No. 1096869.

For further information about all South Downs Planetarium activities, contact: 

The South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre
Sir Patrick Moore Building
Kingsham Farm
Kingsham Road
West Sussex PO19 8RP

For Sat Nav Users:-

Enter PO19 8AE

Tel: 01243 774400 Ticket hotline: 07818 297292

e-mail: sdownsplanet@btconnect.com


What's on between next month and 6 months...

13th June
The Origin of the Constellations
A talk by Dr Robert Smith
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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11th July
Active Galactic Nucleui and Radio Astronomy
A talk by Sadie Jones
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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What's on after the next 6 months...

25th October
Public Open Evening
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:30pm

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26th October
Public Open Evening
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:30pm

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14th November
A talk by Dr Robin Catchpole
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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29th November
Public Open Evening
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:30pm

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30th November
Public Open Evening
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:30pm

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